“Timochenko” takes responsibility for assassination attempts against Vargas Lleras

The former top commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Rodrigo Londoño – known by his war alias “Timochenko” – unleashed another mea culpa in which he claims the guerrilla tried to assassinate German Vargas Lleras on two occasions.

The first attack against the liberal Senator occurred on December 13, 2002, when Vargas Lleras opened a parcel inside his office which had been delivered as one of several Christmas gifts to the outspoken politician. The explosion of the package bomb resulted in serious injury to his face and amputation of three fingers on his left arm.

In a letter addressed to former President Juan Manuel Santos, Londoño writes “despite foreseeable consequences, we recognized the crime of Álvaro Gómez Hurtado and other Colombians who died during the conflict. Likewise, we acknowledge before the authorities of truth, the two attacks that the FARC planned and executed against Vice-President Germán Vargas Lleras.”

Vargas Lleras was appointed Vice-President during the Santos administration. The grandson of the Liberal President Carlos Lleras Restrepo (1966-1970) ran an unsuccessful bid for the Presidency against conservative Iván Duque in 1998. Londoño “apologized” for trying to kill someone close to the “architect of peace” Juan Manuel Santos.

The second attack against Vargas Lleras took place on October 10, 2005, when the politician’s motorcade was struck by a car bomb. Vargas Lleras, returning from a radio interview at Caracol, happened to be inside a security van at the time of the explosion and was unhurt, yet several bodyguards sustained burns and wounds from shrapnel. Vargas Lleras claimed that the attack was orchestrated by the state’s intelligence entity DAS.

Last month, “Timochenko” claimed responsibility for the 1995 murder of the conservative Presidential candidate Álvaro Gómez Hurtado.